I was lucky enough to receive the sacred topic of how you and I can grow our testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ.
My sister in law Tiana and I had a girls night this week, which pretty much just consisted of her and i watching a movie on Netflix with a bowl of ice cream after her kids were asleep, but as we were deciding which one to watch we came across one I hadn't heard of called "The Case for Christ" that came out earlier this year. It is a true story about a young atheist journalist who, after his wife starts believing in God and attending a church, wants to prove to her with as much evidence that he can find, that Christianity is all a big hoax. He was told that everything could be debunked if he could disprove Jesus Christ really died and came back to life. I'll try not to spoil the movie too much but obviously the young man comes back with overwhelming historical evidence of the fact that the resurrection was indeed real.
Sometimes our faith in Christ comes like this. We are humble, (or forced to be humble sometimes happens too) and we really have the desire to know if Christ is real, and we fight and work until we know in our own way that He is! That's what the word *strive* means by the way, to fight! Our testimonies are something we all must earn in one way or another.
A second way for some of us to gain our own testimony of The Savior is to believe first, and then prove it true by living the principles of the gospel and seeing what happens. That's how my brother Noah got his testimony. He tested everything out, lived christ's words for himself and was pleasantly not surprised but reassured that indeed everything was and is true. One of my favorite verses in the BOM is Mosiah 2:41
- And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
I love this scripture because it has proven true in my life, over and over again. We have the proof of the truth by our happiness (including the peace we can feel despite the inevitable hard times) and the lords spiritual and material blessings He gives us.
Sometimes, for some of us, we haven't had one huge moment that makes us know hands down that Christ is real, but we get small and frequent reassurances that such is true by walking daily on Christ's path. That's how it was for me. Many times during the day and week I'll be blessed to feel the wonderful, loving, reassuring feeling that this all really is the truth. This happens always when, of course, I'm choosing proactively to experience something gospel or Christ centered. Simple as scripture study and prayer or church attendance. I had that feeling when I went with our family for the first time to the incredible Nativity production near the temple this week. I cried, or tried hard not to cry as I felt powerfully again the truthfulness of the existence of Jesus Christ and of the reality of his mortal birth, life, and sacrifices here on earth.
The ways we can gain our own testimonies of the savior are as vast as there are numbers of people. However, as we have been told many times: by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. My husband’s favorite poem goes like this :
WHO AM I?
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me
and I will do them – quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed – you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done
and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people,
and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine though
I work with the precision of a machine
plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin
it makes no difference to me.
be firm with me, and
I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
WHO AM I?
I AM HABIT!
Our daily habits can bring us closer to the savior or make us turn further from Him. We must be willing to make the harder way at first of closing to do the small things daily but they will become easier for us and we will broaden our capabilities. Whereas at first it may be hard for us to read a few verses of the scriptures every day, later on a few chapters a day will become easy and greatly desired. An occasional prayer every other night or so can become a morning, noon and night and even constant loving conversation with our father in heaven who we miss and who misses us.
During weaker moments, I sometimes think that maybe I only*think* or *believe* that the church is true. Which is, in itself is perfectly fine, and wonderful as Elder Holland has said. I also think rarely that maybe am just coerced to believe all this cuz it's mostly all I've ever known. I remember during those times though, that I have gone astray and felt the lack of the Spirit's security and peace in my life. Thankfully, I recognized my loss, and with the help of understanding and loving leaders was blessed to repent and with that, invite the Spirit back into my life. When I think that I believe that Jesus Christ is real, and as I think about Him and what I've felt in the past when discussing His teachings or learning about Him, I then realize that it isn't all that uncomfortable for me to say that I know He is real. Even now I can feel the Spirit telling me the truth of those words. Joseph smith and Sidney Rigdon said it best in Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24
- And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
- 23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
- 24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.
I am aware that the journey of testimony gaining and testimony growing is and has been easier for some people than it is or has been for others. That doesn't mean that if it as easier for you that you're more special or favored of the Lord, not by a long shot. I know that people that have had to work hard and struggle a lot to even have a belief that Jesus Christ is the Savior are blessed with a closeness with him that if we never really question we won't attain until we ourselves work for it. If we keep in our memory the ways that the Lord helped us find Him, we will always be able to choose His path and gospel when the daily need arises.
In the name of Jesus Christ Amen 🙏🏻